Handwriting for babies

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By Jane Coleearly childhood consultant.

With the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage in September, Jane Cole looks at the Handwriting aspect, which focuses on how children’s random marks, lines and drawings develop and form the basis of recognisable letters

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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has mapped the six Areas of Learning and Development and their aspects from the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage down to birth. As practitioners, we can now put the Principle for the Key Theme of ‘A Unique Child’ that ‘all children are competent learners from birth’ into our daily practice.

The only drawback is some of the apparently nonsensical language that is used when first looking at these learning and development maps. The Government appears to be encouraging practitioners in baby rooms across the country to wedge pencils into the children’s chubby fists, which does not seem to be a useful approach.

Looking at the ‘Handwriting’ aspect of ‘Communication, Language and Literacy’ (pages 59 and 60 of the Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage, it is clear that observational assessment of babies, andappropriate support by the skilful practitioners working with them, is vital to help every child develop towards the Early learning goals at the very end of EYFS.

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